Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Mail Art

Mail art - Ashley
Originally uploaded by art chick.
So, today? I joined an online art class. It's a mail art class. You may be wondering "what the crap is 'mail art'"? Well, it's art. That goes through the mail. Decorated envelopes are a starting point, but it can range from small postcards to 3D objects used as mailers. The picture to the right is an envelope I made last summer for a friend's card (you can see a larger photo if you click on it). Want to see some more examples?

Look here: The Mailbox is the Museum

With all that's been going on around here for the past few months, making art is one thing that calms me down and at the same time, revs me up. "Art helps me breath" totally applies to me. So I'm really excited about this online class.

And thank you, Jodi, for giving me the heads up on it!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

"Non-Christian" music - Part II

Though these lyrics are initially very dark and desperate? I can't hear this song without feeling like it's a cry to God to save me. In that context? This song is amazing.

"Bring me to Life"
by Evanescence

"How can you see into my eyes like open doors
leading you down into my core
where I’ve become so numb without a soul my spirit sleeping somewhere cold
until you find it there and lead it back home

(Wake me up) Wake me up inside
(I can’t wake up) Wake me up inside
(Save me) call my name and save me from the dark
(Wake me up) bid my blood to run
(I can’t wake up) before I come undone
(Save me) save me from the nothing I’ve become

now that I know what I’m without
you can't just leave me
breathe into me and make me real
bring me to life

(Wake me up) Wake me up inside
(I can’t wake up) Wake me up inside
(Save me) call my name and save me from the dark
(Wake me up) bid my blood to run
(I can’t wake up) before I come undone
(Save me) save me from the nothing I’ve become

Bring me to life
(I've been living a lie, there's nothing inside)
Bring me to life

frozen inside without your touch without your love only you are the life among the dead

all this time I can't believe I couldn't see
kept in the dark but you were there in front of me
I’ve been sleeping a thousand years it seems
got to open my eyes to everything
without a thought without a voice without a soul
don't let me die here
there must be something more
bring me to life

(Wake me up) Wake me up inside
(I can’t wake up) Wake me up inside
(Save me) call my name and save me from the dark
(Wake me up) bid my blood to run
(I can’t wake up) before I come undone
(Save me) save me from the nothing I’ve become

(Bring me to life)
I’ve been living a lie, there’s nothing inside
(Bring me to life)"

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Mug shot

Sean in black and white
Originally uploaded by art chick.
So, Sean? Totally lied to us the other day. He'd done something, we caught him, he lied about it when we confronted him. But here are the exceptionally stupid parts, keeping in mind that Sean is three. And extremely cute.

Stupid thing #1: We caught Sean by actually witnessing him doing the deed. And he saw us watching him. And he did not stop doing said deed.

Stupid thing #2: When confronted and asked "who did it"? (for the sole purpose of giving him a chance to apologize) The child looked right at us and said, "Mommy did it."

This? This, people, is punishment. For you see, when my mother used to say "I hope you have children just like you some day"? I replied, "So do I".

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Narnia Movie

So, did you know they're making a movie out of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? I had heard but was trying to ignore it. The Chronicles of Narnia are probably my favorite books of all time (though it's not like I dress up in costume and act out chapters or anything). But they are what started my admiration of C.S. Lewis' work. I didn't want someone screwing it up. I know Lord of the Rings turned out incredibly well but I was afraid to hope for the same with the Narnia books. I mean, what are the chances of having another classic book adaptation turn out great? And? I kept remembering that 1970's cartoon version that just really sucked.

But the trailer was actually good; we saw it before the new Star Wars movie started. I didn't realize what movie they were previewing at first so it took me by surprise. I actually got chills when I realized what movie it was because I am just that much of a dork, people. The preview had a lot of epic drama kind of stuff -- think Lord of the Rings but not quite as dark and dirty (The Chronicles of Narnia are technically children's books). The most reassuring thing about the trailer was that Aslan, the lion who ultimately represents Christ as the messiah of Narnia, does not look like a giant amusement park character. He was actually decently realistic looking. As were the various centaurs, fauns (Mr. Tumnas looked good in the few seconds he ran through a scene) and other creatures taken largely from Greek mythology. I'm really trying to not get my hopes up, but? It's not working, though I'm still not making any plans to go all Star Wars and line up months in advance or anything.

Here's a link to view the first official trailer that's out (this is the one we saw in the theater as far as I know). It's not quite as impressive on the computer as it was on the big screen, but it's still good. And I really liked the music. The trailer link is on the left side of the movie page. Let me know if you think I'm alone in my dorkiness.

Link to view trailer for The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Speaking of pop culture

Does anyone else watch Desperate Housewives? Funny funny stuff. I'm asking because I've become obsessed with a random item on the show. One of the characters on the show has the greatest stained glass piece in her house. It's the freak lady who's sister got killed because she was blackmailing Mary-Alice.

At the freak lady's house (our new nickname for her because of that psychotic face she made when she offered to make pudding for Zach last week) there is a door in her kitchen. It has a stained glass panel inset and it's got very delicate small white flowers on long stems. It's a beautiful piece. I made Rusty rewind three times so I could get a better look at it over freak lady's shoulder last week (I think I heard Rusty mutter something about limiting my TV exposure). Incidentally, yes, I do get caught up on the oddest things. Welcome to my existence.

If anyone stumbles across a picture of that door? Or a scene from the show with that door? Please email it to me! I want to create something similar to replace the door between our kitchen and laundry room. It's nice to be able to think in terms of aesthetics rather than construction at this point.

Muppet love.

Sean and I watched Sesame Street this morning. Within the first three minutes Cookie Monster, the Count and Big Bird showed up. I forgot how funny that show can be, even for adults. The Muppets? Seriously, one of the best things human kind has ever come up with.

I may be a bit partial, as Jim Hensen attended the University of Maryland as an art major. The same school where I earned my art degree. Kermit was actually developed from one of his early art projects at UMD. And there is the sweetest statue at the student union -- Jim Hensen sitting on a park bench talking to Kermit who is sitting on the backrest next to him. Not talking to Kermit as a puppet, but just Kermit as a little green frog guy. What does that have to do with anything? Nothing. I just like the statue and this is my blog.

Anyway, the Muppets. We are totally loving the Muppets. I'm dating myself but does anyone else remember the Muppet Show? That's good stuff, people! The Swedish Chef alone was worth watching the show. And the whole idea of Gonzo? A weird little blue thing with a chicken fetish? That's quality television right there.

So what's the point of this post? Not sure. Just enjoyed the "ah ha ha"s after the Count counted the cookies then Sean's hysterical laughter as Cookie Monster totally destroyed them. And the "Sing a Song (la la la la la)" song? Classic. Though maybe sharing would get you all thinking back.

If you're feeling brave (because I have a counter, people, I can tell someone is checking up on me and it's not just my mom hitting refresh every ten minutes) leave a comment and tell me who is your favorite Muppet, episode or movie, or song... and don't curse my name when you get one of them stuck in your head for the rest of the week.

For the record: My favorite Muppet Song is probably the one that the dog(Rowlf?) sings in the original Muppet Movie.

"You can't live with 'em, you can't live without 'em.
There's somethin' irresistabullish about 'em.
We grin and bear it 'cause the nights are long.
I hope that somethin' better comes along.

It's no good complainin' and pointless to holler.
If she's a beauty she'll get under your collar.
She made a monkey out of old King Kong,
I hope that somethin' better comes along..."

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Some of you might read what I just wrote and think that taking water to someone sounds really stupid. It's not the water. It's interacting with someone that would otherwise look at you and assume you'd have nothing to do with them. Don't believe me? Next time you're out to dinner, check out the bus boys. There is a good chance many of them are Latino. Make a point to smile at them, say "Hi" and treat them like someone you'd pass by in your own neighborhood. It may take a few tries, but I'm pretty sure you'll get a smile back and you'll see something change a little in that person's demeaner when they're interacting with you.

Small things done with great love will change the world, dude.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The one where I still don't answer Betsy's question.

A friend was asking should all Christians be involved in some sort of political activity? I left her a nice little comment with my opinion which may or may not be worth something at this particular point in history. And I just wrote four paragraphs about why I have never felt called to be active in any kind of political activities when I realized something. I was thinking along the lines of being active in politics to further what I guess I'd call the "Christian agenda". You know, the standard anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-everything that isn't outright Christian agenda. Which, by the way, I don't necessarily believe is all wrong. But I think years of listening to Christians in the media has turned a lot of people against the idea of getting to know Christ at all.

So to my friend, I rescind my answer. But I'm not sure what my new answer is. I do feel like there is something that I, as a believer, should do when I hear about policy breakdowns that lead to children being abused or killed by their own foster parents here in the the US, or further way situations like the AIDS epidemic in Africa, civil war, etc. I often times just don't know what to do aside from donations. It seems too big for one person to deal with.

But you know what bothers me most about my friend's question and my thoughts afterward? Why aren't whatever tragedies going on around the world and right here in our own country, why weren't these things on the mainstream Christian agenda? Instead of picketing abortion clinics, why aren't Christians known for hugging those women as they go in? That is an act of love that would actually draw those women to God. I'm thinking picketing? Just pushes them farther away. And here we go... the whole gay marriage thing. Does banning gay marriage mean that homosexuals are just going to disappear from the face of the earth?

I'm not saying I'm for gay marriage. But I am for gay people. I am for shattered women who have to decide to keep a baby or destroy that life. I am for people here in this country because they're working their butts off for minimum wage and sending most of it back to their families in South America. Holy crap! Why would I say something like that? Because those people are so often hurting, lonely, homesick and needing real love. And instead of comforting them with the love of a holy God who sacrificed His son for them? Some of us are too busy trying to decide who's wrong and why they're wrong and what can we do to make sure those wrong people don't multiply. It's been said before and I totally agree: If Jesus were on earth today, who do you think he'd be hanging out with?

One more thing. I know the answer to a lot of what I said is that there needs to be a moral standard, the bible is clear on what's right and wrong, etc. But please keep this in mind as an example of what I'm trying to say: adultry is something that the bible clearly frowns on, right? Old and New testament are pretty clear on it. There were clear rules in Jesus' day about how adultresses were to be dealt with. So with the rules, the biblical references, why did Jesus stand between the mob ready to stone the woman caught in the act? Shouldn't He have let her take her punishment because she went against something written about explicitly in scripture and in the law ? Christ loved her first then told her to go on her way and change her lifestyle. Suck it up people! No one is perfect and sin is sin is sin (and not just the big stuff) so get on with it and stop pointing fingers and start loving the lost!

Now, after all that? I guess I've never felt lead to do anything political because I seem to feel led to do little things. I like to take water to the Latino lady on the corner selling flowers or to the hispanic crews working on our street who otherwise don't make eye contact with us and our neighbors. I make an effort to show some sort of love and friendship to someone that I see every weekday that seems to be very lonely. I like to pay for the coffee for the tree cutting crew that's a few people back in line at 7-Eleven. Those people may eventually become convinced that people aren't all bad and may even spread the love. If that love gets spread again and again... a lot of this crap that we fight about wouldn't be an issue. But, that's just one person's opinion.

Geez, Betsy, did I ever actually answer your question?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Two thumbs up

(I love when they say "way up", like Ebert is waving his hand above his head)

So the movie was really good. Without giving anything away? Best parts included Wookies, Yoda and hottie Ewan McGregor. Even with a beard he's got it goin' on with a light saber. The coolest thing was watching all the loose ends tied up and seeing where the original Star Wars movie picked up from the end of this story. Oh! And Queen whats-her-face's hair? Total old-school Princess Leia side-of-the-head-buns going on. I coveted the mega-buns when I was little so it was a joy to see them brought back to life on the big screen.

Two out of two Sappers give the new Star Wars movie thumbs way up (except for the guy who plays Anikan. Because? He is totally made out of cardboard).

Geek girl = me

Oh yeah, baby. We're going to see Star Wars tonight. I know I'm a rare breed -- a chick who loves Star Wars. But I do. Or at least, I like the real ones (the originals. With the fantastic young Han Solo. Because? He kicked booty). The new ones have been kind of lame-o but of course, they were Star Wars so we did see them each once. But I'm all excited to see how Darth Vader came about so this one had better be good.

Also? When I was little, Darth Vader was the epitome of "Bad Guy". Now they have him selling M & M's, Burger King and Cheetoes. Where's the respect people?

Another day...

Another ridiculous observation on the Sapper household.

I was just cleaning the boys' bathroom. I totally realize that having two little boys, one of whom having only been potty trained for mere months, means you really do have to clean the bathrooms daily. But come on. Do you know what I was just doing for the last ten minutes? Cleaning up toothpaste. From the underside of the toilet. That's right. The underside. I'm at a total loss because from my calculations? You'd have to lie on your back on the bathroom floor, turn your head and aim for the spot I'm talking about. These boys have a 50% average when it comes to hitting the toilet when they go, but they can hit a precise spot on the underside of the toilet with toothpaste?

In other news, Sean has only been answering to the name "Mr. Incredible" for the last week now.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mental illness or spiritual clarity?

I was just reading over my last week's worth of posts and I swear I may be schizophrenic. I go from a discussion on downloading Kenny Rogers and the Beastie Boys on my iPod to paraphrasing an essay on the depth of Christ's humanity? What is it with me?

Maybe I'm not schizoid. Maybe it's "Spiritual Tourette's" where, you know, I'm going along chatting about iTunes and suddenly shout out a sermon then go about my business like nothing ever happened. I wonder if I can find scripture to support my theory on the state of my mental health? (I have The Message version of the bible; I would not be shocked).


Just wondering... does anyone actually read the posts like the one below? For the most part it's just me thinking out loud but wondered if anyone else got all the way through it?

In which I go on. And on. And on.

I'm reading a really great book right now. Or part of a book anyway, an essay. One of the seven which make up "The World's Last Night: and Other Essays" by C.S. Lewis. I'm currently reading the last essay in the book, the one actually named "The World's Last Night". It deals with society's views on the second coming of Christ. But it's a secondary discussion that emerges that has really stuck with me lately.

In Mark, chapter 13, Jesus is telling the disciples about his return. And then in verse 30 Jesus makes a statement: "Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done" (King James version, but funny that they get all formal and use "thou" and "verily" but then throw in "till" instead of "until"? I'm just sayin). Anyway... C.S. Lewis speculates that is could be one of the most frustrating verses for Christians to deal with. The generation that lived during Christ's time on earth is long gone. But of course, we say, Jesus wasn't wrong. It's got to be a "different understanding" of the word "generation" or some similar confusion. But Lewis goes on to say, what if Jesus was wrong when He guessed on when He would be returning?

**Please keep reading, I promise you will not be struck down by lightening. Or least, if you are struck by lightening, it won't specifically be for reading this**

So if you keep reading chapter 13 of Mark, verse 32 goes on to say: "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Um, hi. What was that? "Neither the Son?" What?! Is it entirely possible that Jesus was just wrong and thought He'd be back sooner? Because during his time on earth he was human and was just guessing? It doesn't change his sinless nature, it just makes him human. This whole line of thinking was amazing to me. And once I kept reading, it really made sense. Read on...

Lewis writes: "The taking up into God's nature of humanity with all its ignorances and limitations... it would be difficult, and, to me, repellent, to suppose that Jesus never asked a genuine question, that is, a question to which He did not know the answer. That would make of His humanity something so unlike ours as scarcely to deserve the name. I find it easier to believe that when He said 'Who touched me?' (Luke 7:45) He really wanted to know."

Let's think about this a minute. Do you realize what that sentence implies? That when Jesus was on earth, He was sinless and blameless. But He also was really human. Humanity is ignorance. For us to say that Jesus knew everything and just skated through His time here until His death? That takes away from what He really did for us by giving up his divinity and coming to live among the idiots.

Think about this: If Jesus didn't know the details or the future, if He had to actually just live His life like the rest of us to find out? That means that He knew He was here on earth to give His life for us but most likely didn't know all of the horrible details. I mean, there were the prophecies -- the cross, guards gambling over his robes, the mocking. But until you live it, can you imagine how horrifying it would be to know for your entire life that something was going to happen but since you're limited by your humanity, you wouldn't know exactly until it was actually happening? No wonder Christ cried in the garden and asked God to find a different way. Jesus was probably terrified. Think how hard it is for us when we think God isn't there for us. How much worse for Jesus to know God would have to abandon Him to death? To think of Jesus' humanity, on those last few days... it makes the sacrifice that He made for us that much greater. That He put himself through all of that.

I'm not at all saying Christ was a sinner by saying He was human. It's not a sin to be human. To have to make a best guess because you don't know all the facts. And now I have to stop because I believe there is smoke coming out of my ears.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

In control

Wanting to keep this from becoming just a series of one-liners as this journal started as a place for me to work out my salvation with a little help from the outside. Please feel free to chime in or chew me out.

Regarding "control"? I mean, I asked for it. I sat in my house back in Fairfield and said "Your will be done". God doesn't take that lightly, and I knew that going into it. And I wanted this, I so wanted this. Maybe not the specifics -- the possibility of a child with special needs or two years of feeling displaced trying to figure out which box has half my life packed in it. But I asked for God to take me from where I was to make me something more. And He totally took me seriously. I'm being forced to take my role as a mother and a parent a lot more deliberately than I may have before. My frienships are being tested and proven by the storms I've been through in which those friends were able to keep me anchored and show me how much they care about me. Those friends have shown me the love of Christ when I felt like I couldn't find it otherwise.

God apparently thinks I'm capable of quite a bit and that terrifies me. But it's also an honor and it's exciting to live through. I feel like I'm at a point where I've been able to take refuge at home with my family and cry a bit. But now I am starting to see the value in some of what's happened over the last few years. And I have to decide if I want to continue to do the easy thing and hide out and remove myself from life for a while. Or can I make myself come clean and admit that I'll live through this and get on with life. With absolutely no control over anything and still coming through it ok. It's that decision that I'm thinking on tonight.

*It's a good thing it's not Wednesday yet because with all of this deep thought? Along with the intensity of watching "LOST"? My head would combust.

Flippin Sweet.

Ok, this is only hysterical if you have seen and love the movie "Napoleon Dynamite" as we do. If you have not or you do not, please talk amongst yourselves.

So, our three year old, Sean. He has started this really entertaining thing. When we hit a green traffic light? He says, "Yesssssssss" kind of under his breath and all Napoleon-y. This in turn prompts Rusty to say "Sweet" (with that hard "t" at the end) and before you know it all hell has broken loose. Someone throws in a "Gosh!" followed by a "Do the chickens have large talons?" and then wraps it up nicely with a "Pedro offers you his protection". We are clearly the largest nerd family on the planet.

I am seriously considering making tater tots for dinner and hoping for Sean to command "gimme your tots".

Oh, please.

Go ahead, ask me what I'm doing this morning. Come on, I dare you (you really should know better at this point).

Well, since you asked... I'm sitting on the floor of the cluttered computer room (so that's where my running shoes went) trying to type in an entry on my borrowed PowerBook (Thank you, NASA) and simultaneously thanking God that I backed up the 700+ songs on iTunes while cursing my stupidy for not having the last three years worth of personal photos on CD. For you see, some nice German people decided to send me a virus through my email (Kein danke schreckliche Leute!). No, I did not open any of the 27 German emails. But Outlook has a preview option and that preview option was enough to set up the virus. It rampaged through our PC. Windows is trashed. Can't start it up. Which means that all of our family photos from 2002-2005 are locked up in a useless black box. Yes, these past few months are making me wonder if there is some deep dark sin I have forgotten and need to repent of.

On a good note, I'm thoroughly enjoying The "Triplets of Belleville" soundtrack which has been locked up on this version of iTunes (though I wish someone could please explain why I would have possibly downloaded the "Milkshake" song).

Friday, May 13, 2005

Musical Chaos

Music I've downloaded in the last week:

Beastie Boys
Rosemary Clooney
The "Garden State" soundtrack
The Prodigals*

I know you're asking and Yes, this did go on the same iPod with Kenny Rogers. No, the iPod did not spontaneously combust (but thanks for your concern).

* Their style is called "Jig-Rock". Is that actually a music catagory? Because, really? I'm all about anything with the word "Jig" in it.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Blues Traveler = Messenger from God?

Man, this is just a great song.

"Just Wait"
Music & Lyrics: John Popper

If ever you are feeling like you're tired
And all your uphill struggles leave you headed downhill
If you realize your wildest dreams can hurt you
And your appetite for pain has drinken its fill

I ask of you a very simple question
Did you think for one minute that you are alone
And is your suffering a privilege you share only
Or did you think that everybody else feels completely at home

Just wait
Just wait
Just wait
And it will come

If you think I've given up on you you're crazy
And if you think I don't love you well then you're just wrong
In time you just might take to feeling better
Time is the beauty of the road being long

I know that now you feel no consolation
But maybe if I told you and informed you out loud
I say this without fear of hesitation
I can honestly tell you that you make me proud

Just wait
Just wait
Just wait
And it will come

I hope for you and cannot stop at hoping
Until that smile has once again returned to your face
There's no such thing as a failure who keeps trying
Coasting to the bottom is the only disgrace

Just wait
Just wait
Just wait
And it will come

*(of course, "Margaritaville" comes on immediately after this on my "Laid Back Tunes" playlist so I can't claim to be totally deep all the time)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Because things aren't fun enough around here

I opened the dryer this morning to get some clean clothes out for Liam. First thing out? A white shirt. With pretty multi-colored blotches. Blotches that are not supposed to be there. What the crap? I pulled out t-shirt after shorts after undies... all splotched with color. And fabulous color at that.

Then I found it. The navy blue cargo shorts. With the crusty lower pocket. Full of melted crayons. Now before you think, "Duh, woman, check the pockets before you do laundry!" let me tell you that I do! After the first time I accidentally washed Rusty's pager, I'm really careful about it (though not careful enough because notice I had to say "the first time" I washed the pager). But I digress. I do check the pockets. But come on! With the rise in popularity in cargo pants? It would take days to go through every pocket on every pair of shorts and pants that Liam, Sean and Rusty own. Damn you, Old Navy, you and your "everybody-needs-15-extra-pair-of-pockets-on-each-pair-of-pants" mentality.

I didn't even know anyone actually stowed cargo in their cargo pants. But apparently my oldest child, being the practical and thrifty person that he seems to be, decided to make use of all the available pockets on his person and loaded them up with crayons from every restaurant we've visited in the last week. And people? We're renovating a kitchen here. We've seen the inside of a lot of restaurants, let me tell you. There are at least five different colors going on in that load of laundry. Nice blending, I must say (must have been the Crayolas and not those cheapy Rose Art pieces of wax).

I'm off to find the WD-40 as that's what I've been told to try first. If that doesn't work? I'm pulling out the big guns and calling the 1-800 number for Proctor and Gamble listed on the back of my Tide Cold Water. Let P&G solve my problem, that's what I pay the big bucks for.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Monday, May 09, 2005

Hi, I'm sad.

I had my first bad dream about Liam and what he may be facing. In the dream some people were being mean to him and didn't understand that he is who he is and that's just the way it is. It wasn't a nightmare in the traditional monster-under-the-bed sense of the word. But it was a very sad thing for me. Mostly? Because we don't yet know what to expect or what we will be facing as Liam gets older.

A few nights ago, while we were doing our nightly snuggle and prayers, Liam fell asleep soundly curled into me. I found myself praying almost desperately. No, not "almost". Just "desperately". Praying that God would protect that part of Liam that makes him so sweet and sensitive and kind and funny and excited and interested in things. To be teased or even just misunderstood all through school takes its toll on a child. I don't want that spark that Liam has to be snuffed out. At our Mother's Day lunch with Rusty's family, the first thing Liam said to anyone was "I like your dress" to our niece Morgan. I don't want Liam to be afraid to say things like that as he gets older. Sometimes kids who are different learn to be afraid to say anything at all.

A good thing to come out of all of this is that I have rediscovered just how lovely my child is. I sit back and watch him with new eyes, wondering exactly how his brain works. And I am totally in love with him and fall down on my face with gratitude before God for entrusting him to me (also scared and confused that God would assume I have the mental capacity to deal with this. That's a good one!)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Collage Book

Originally uploaded by art chick.
Oh. My. Goodness. I finally finished something. Pick yourself up off of the floor and check it out. If you click on the photo it will take you to the rest of the book.

Our church is amazing in that we have a wonderful arts community. And that community so often draws in the rest of the church and gives "non-artists" a chance to do something creative (I don't honestly believe there is anything as a "non-artist", basically that's just everyone who has yet to become an artist). I loved that even though I'm an artist I was sitting across from mostly people who don't consider themselves to be artistic but they were thrilled to be playing anyway. Seeing a creative spirit born from an opportunity to try something new? That's a blessing to witness. It's really exciting!

This year at our women's retreat, a fabulous collage artist brought in a few tubs full of fun stuff and let everyone have at it (I'm sorry, Rachelle, I can't remember your last name! Betsy, if you read this, please credit her in a comment). Anyway, this collage book is the result of all of the scavaging and altering and junking I did during that seminar.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Mush Brain

Ok, well, for all of my geeky blogging I'm actually not doing so well. I mean, I may sound like I'm just sitting around writing fluff. But? I'm totally a wreck this last week.

Let's recap, shall we? Ok, September 2003, Rusty starts a new job at NASA here in Maryland and we put our house in Cincinnati on the market. We move in with Rusty's mom while the house in Ohio is on the market. We get an offer and the house stays under contract for seven (yes, seven) months. We live with Rusty's mom for almost a year. For part of that time our much loved but very brain deficient 14 year-old niece lives with us because her mom is an abusive jerk. Are we having fun yet, people? Are you getting this? In-laws. In the same house. For a year. Not to mention the stress from the contract stuff for the Cincinnati house.

Last September, 2004, we buy the house from Rusty's mom when she moves. A month later, we battle it out with moving company who tried to run off with our stuff. We have new carpet installed only to find out they installed the wrong carpet - in both rooms - and go through the whole thing again. We start making the house our own by painting, painting and oh, wait! More painting. We tear out the kitchen, have 110 boxes dumped into our living room, and knock a ginormous hole in one wall. Now we are rebuilding the previously torn apart kitchen.

Meanwhile, in the midst of the chaos we are trying to live life as normally as possible (Sean did get potty trained so all hope it not lost). Then the bombshell about Liam. Gah! I think my brain may explode.

Depending on when you catch me, I'm either fine or I'm falling apart. When am I'm falling apart? Who knows, my brain hasn't decided to let me in on the time table. It just melts down at will. In the middle of Don Pablo's? Sure... have a breakdown. Mucho fun. Buenos noches!

I'm homesick now too. Not just for family (that's always there in the back of my mind). I miss Cincinnati as a whole. I miss the city itself, the familiarity of the streets and places I know. I miss my church like I've lost a best friend. I miss my friends! for now, I catch the Reds at night on WLW which amazingly enough comes in clear as day. I listen to Marty and Joe (and the new guy) and feel just a bit closer to home. And aside from the homesick? I'm tired. Two years of feeling displaced and unsettled has taken it's toll. And it's not pretty.

I do believe God brought us here. But a friend pointed out last night that just because you follow God's leading doesn't mean life won't be hard. He used example of the Israelites following God and ending up at the place with bitter water. God was there. But the water was still bitter. I think they adjusted their attitude and God adjusted the water. Ok, well, this water is so bitter right now that I'm about to throw up!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

My musical tastes

Alright now. It has been suggested that my musical tastes suck. All I'm saying is that my iPod has room for all peoples, and all genres to come together and learn to live with one another in harmony. RunDMC lives side by side with Kenny Rogers who cozies up to Natalie Merchant and They Might Be Giants. Sir Mix-a-lot joins hands with R.E.M and U2 and Lenny Kravitz (yes. Sir Mix-a-lot. "Buttermilk Biscuits", baby.) The Kinks, The Ramones, the Clash, the Cure and Depeche Mode mix it up with Jimmy Buffett, Steve Miller, Creedance Clearwater and Bad Company. Oasis, The Lemonheads and Matthew Sweet get together with Brian Adams and Monty Python. And I am in music heaven.

Just to quiet your fears, the Kenny Rogers download? Was preceeded by some of this:

Because the Beasties?  They really do rock.

Beastie Boys Anthology - The Sounds of Science

Because the Beasties totally rock my world.

Chaos + my brain = nonsense

My posts lately have been pretty much just nonsense. It's just that my brain isn't functioning very well with the whole house renovation-lack of creative time-Liam's issues thing. It's like my brain is going manic and goody stuff just keeps popping up. Maybe to thwart the more stressful thoughts? I don't know.

But here's what I'm thinking on right now. I spent yesterday afternoon filling out an eight page packet to send to Children's Hospital regarding Liam's upcoming assessment (Click here to read the Liam post). As a Believer, my first response it to talk with God about all of this. And of course, when you think something may be wrong with your child, you ask God to fix it. But as I'm starting to pray and ask God for healing for Liam I realize it. Liam isn't sick. His brain just works a bit differently (depending on what the diagnosis turns out to be). To ask God to "heal" him would essentially mean changing who Liam is. The way he thinks and acts and what essentially makes him unique. And you know what? I don't to change who Liam is. Sure, I want him to succeed. And be happy. But does he need to "be healed" to do that? I don't think he does. So I thanked God then said "No, thanks. He's perfect just the way he is and we'll deal with the challenges he may face".

And I'm pretty sure I heard God say, "Duh."

Monday, May 02, 2005

You know you love him. And his chicken.

Want to hear something disturbing? I'll tell you, but only if you don't judge me. I just downloaded ten songs from this album from iTunes.


Kenny Rogers Twenty Greatest Hits

I'll let you figure out which ten I downloaded.

In which I learn French

So apparently when you go to type in Amazon.com and accidentally add an "e" to the end of "Amazon"? You get Amazon.com in French. Ooo la la.



So last night I was convinced that the tree frogs were plotting the apocolypse. There were at least 10,000 of them in the backyard and woods making all kinds of unnecessary noise ( I'm just estimating population by what we heard. I might be way low on the numbers there so don't quote me). Apparently the frogs are quite happy that the warm weather has come. They won't shut up. Now, one or two little tree frog peeps? That's cute and all Yay-spring-has-finally-come. But multiple thousands of them? Along with the other odd amphious noises and random bird calls? People, it sounds like Jurassic Park out there.
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